"I have an exam tomorrow," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday referring to presentation of General Budget in Parliament as he gave a pep talk to motivate students appearing for board exams for which he even roped icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Vishwanathan Anand.
Modi said he was "full of confidence" ahead of his "examination" by 125 crore people, a trait which he wanted students to emulate when they appear for their examinations for Class X and XII starting Tuesday.
In his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', he emphasised that students should appear for the exams with a "positive approach" having free and calm mind without any anxiety. He also asked parents not to put pressure on them.
In this context, he cited his example in the context of presentation of Budget which all the countrymen closely monitor and analyse.
"Friends, your exams are starting. I too have exam tomorrow. The country's 125 crore people are going to take my examination," the prime minister said, while pointing out that Budget is being presented on Monday.
"But you must have seen how healthy I am feeling, how full of confidence I am. Let my exams take place tomorrow and yours day after and may all of us succeed so that the nation succeeds...Move ahead with a free mind, without any tension of success or failure," he said in his 35-minute programme.
To lay stress on a positive and tension-free approach, Modi roped in Sachin, Anand besides Bharat Ratna scientist C N R Rao and spiritual leader Murari Bapu, whose messages were played during the programme. They gave their own examples of how they approached their exams in their respective fields, keeping tension aside.
Underlining that "positive approach" and "positive frame of mind" help in all aspects of life, the prime minister talked about himself and said when he comes across some issues which he is not familiar with, he concentrates to deal with them.
"Sometimes I feel tension within. Then I feel that I should relax a bit so that I feel good. So I have developed my own technique. I do some deep breathing. I take deep breath three times, five times. It may take a few seconds but my mind becomes ready to deal with the situation with a calm mind. This may be my experience but this may help you too," he told the students.
Modi, a practioner of yoga, also referred to this art and mentioned how it helps in improving concentration and strengthening inner peace.
To motivate the students, the prime minister also invoked Thomas Alva Edison, who invented electricity, and J K Rowling of Harry Potter fame, saying their success had possibly come after many failures.
"There is success in failure too" if there is a positive approach, he said, while asking students to have dedication, determination and diligence to achieve success.
Giving example of Sachin, Modi asked students not be burdened by expectations of others but set their own targets with "free thinking, free mind and independent capability".
He told students that nobody can stop them if they set out to break their own records.
The students should link their efforts to acheive big goals like Sachin and even if the targets are not achieved, do not be demoralised but try harder, Modi said.
Sachin, in his message played during the programme, said, "I understand that exams are starting in a few days. Many of you must be tense....I want to say that your thinking needs to be positive, then positive results will follow. So be positive. God will give you good results... Write the exams with free mind and results will be good."
He said there will be many expectations of the students from their parents, teachers, family members and friends who all will keep enquiring about their preparations and their expected percentage.
"I will only say that you yourself set your targets and don't come under pressure of expectations of others. Work hard but set a realistic achievable target and try to achieve it," said the cricket icon.
Giving his own example, he said, "When I played cricket, there were many expectations from me. In the last 24 years, there have been many tough moments and at times good moments also. But people's expectations kept rising with time. So I had to find a solution. I thought that I will keep only my expectations and set my own targets.
"If I am able to achieve those targets, then I am able to do some good for the country... I always focussed on the ball and with time my targets were achieved.
Emphasising that students should have sound sleep before appearing for exams, the prime minister said himself sleeps less, which was his "shortcoming" and he was trying to rectify it.
"I agree that sleeping on time and deep sleep are as important as other activities during the day. I am lucky that I sleep less but I have deep sleep. This helps," he said.
Underlining the need for discipline and focus in life, Modi gave the example of world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand, saying his concentration is always intense when he plays the game and checkmates others, like Arjun's target of the eye of a fish.
Anand asked students to have good sleep, eat well and be calm when they appear for examinations.
"It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself, don't keep your expectations too high. Just see it as a challenge... Don't be over-confident. But don't be pessimistic either," he said.
Modi added that if a person lacks confidence, then there is no peace within, which affects work.
Rao asked students to decide what they want and try to achieve it through their "doggedness, dedication and tenacity. With all these qualities, you will succeed in all examinations and all other endeavours."
The prime minister noted that the country on Sunday celebrates the National Science Day to commemorate the announcement of Nobel Laureate C V Raman's discovery 'Raman Effect' in 1928.
This year's theme is 'Make in India Science and Technology Driven Innovations', he said as he pitched for innovation.
He also said that Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory was being established in India, becoming only the third country in the world to have it.
He lauded the Indian scientists for being part of the recent discovery of Gravitational Waves which had confirmed Einstein's theory.